The Labour party has thrown its weight behin the creation of State police.
The chairman of Labour Party, Dr Mike Omotosho who made this call, pointed out that before and during the colonial era, Nigeria had more effective security bodies. Noting that as a Federation with component units empowered by the constitution to have equal status and relationship parity, the states should be allowed to have their own police force.
This call according to the statement became necessary as the current security apparatus has not shown capacity in dealing with the recent security challenges in Nigeria.
Recall that in recent times various interest groups have continued to canvass support for state police asking the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to review the current Nigeria security architecture by heeding the call for state police, review his security appointments among other demands which according to them is the panacea to arresting the incessant security crisis in the country.
Just last week about 200 people was killed by suspected herdsmen in Plateau state, sparking a public outrage from Nigerians and International communities.
Omotosho queried why the issue of state police cannot follow the same pattern of other arms of the government, namely, the Judiciary and the Legislature which function at both the national and state levels.
“It is of good note to state clearly that State Government is actually a complete government on its own with powers to make and enforce laws that suit its state as well as punish offenders who will try to be a deterrent to the peace and sanity of such state, thus making the judicial arm at state level quite functional. Yet under the legal system in Nigeria, the only body charged with the responsibility of enforcing law is the NPF and it is a Federal Body; this is why it not effective in its duties because Nigeria to too large for its security issues to be managed from one central point alone”, said the labour chairman.
“My take on this, therefore, would be to decentralize control of the Nigerian Police Force so that the States can have some level of Command and Influence especially when rapid response is required. All power should not be wielded by the Inspector General of Police. I know that some are sceptical of this State Policing Policy as it may one-day warrant people to start clamouring for LG Police or even Ward Police, but that can be tackled immediately from the onset by allowing for locals to operate as Sources of Intelligence or Intelligence Personnel as the case may be”.
Omotosho stressed the need for caution to be applied in handling the issue so as not to allow state police if created to further divide the country along ethnic lines, adding that a Yoruba person should be able to serve in Enugu while an Igbo person should be able to serve in Zamfara without any fear.
Another point the Labour Chairman raised was the issue of border security, lamenting the infiltration of security agencies and porous nature of our borders especially in northern areas which he said has made all manner of people from neighbouring countries to gain access into the country without proper documentation and also not traceable. Saying that this unwholesome trend amounts to an erosion of Nigeria territorial integrity.
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